(For faster updates on individual market-movers, Eikon users please use search string "STXBZ US"; for more market insights, including options activity, ; for the Day Ahead newsletter, link.reuters.com/mex49s; for the Morning News Call newsletter, link.reuters.com/nex49s) U.S. stocks rose on Monday, with major indexes extending Friday's sharp rally as it appeared less likely that the tense situation between Russia and Ukraine would escalate. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.36 percent at 16,612.93, the S&P 500 was up 0.51 percent at 1,941.44 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.75 percent at 4,403.677.
** MANNKIND CORP, $9.44, +16.11 pct
French drugmaker Sanofi is betting on inhaled insulin as an alternative option to daily injections for diabetics by signing a worldwide licensing agreement with MannKind Corp worth up to $925 million.
** CHIQUITA BRANDS INTERNATIONAL INC, $13.235, +31.56 pct
Juice maker Cutrale Group and Brazilian investment firm Safra Group said on Monday they have offered to acquire Chiquita Brands in a cash deal that valued the banana distributor’s equity at $610.5 million.
** DEAN FOODS CO, $14.88, -5.88 pct
The largest U.S. milk processor posted a wider-than-expected adjusted loss in the second quarter and withdrew its full-year forecast, citing record high milk costs. “This is by far the most difficult operating environment in the history of the company...,” Chief Executive Gregg Tanner said. “The balance of the year appears rocky, with a continued unpredictable and volatile dairy commodity environment.”
** KINDER MORGAN INC, $39.04, +8.08 pct
** KINDER MORGAN ENERGY PARTNERS LP, $93.49, +16.37 pct
** KINDER MORGAN MANAGEMENT, $95.25, +23.67 pct
** EL PASO PIPELINE PARTNERS, $40.45, +20.39 pct
Top U.S. pipeline company Kinder Morgan Inc said it will put all its publicly traded units under one roof in a $70 billion deal, responding to investor concerns about its growth prospects and complicated financial structure.
The company said it would shed the tax-advantaged legal structure, the Master Limited Partnership, and fold its units into one company with a market capitalization of $92 billion organized as a C-corporation.
The affected units include Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, Kinder Morgan Management, and El Paso Pipeline Partners. The deal is comprised of $40 billion in Kinder Morgan equity, $4 billion in cash and $27 billion in assumed debt.
** MATTRESS FIRM HOLDING CORP, $54.78, +14.10 pct
The mattress maker’s second-quarter profit and sales estimate beat Wall Street’s expectations, helped by strong demand for its new luxury bedding models. The company also raised its full-year profit and sales forecast.
“While consumer traffic continues to remain choppy, we are encouraged by continued improvement in consumer confidence and other economic indicators,” said Chief Executive Steve Stagner.
** CAL DIVE INTERNATIONAL INC, $0.87, -21.62 pct
The marine contractor reported a bigger-than-expected loss for the second quarter in a row as harsh weather delayed the start of projects in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico as well as the completion of two projects in Mexico. The company said it is exploring alternatives, including an acquisition, joint venture or merger.
** TEKMIRA PHARMACEUTICALS CORP, $24.9101, +20.34 pct
** BIOCRYST PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $14.23, +1.93 pct
** NANOVIRICIDES INC, $4.39, +2.57 pct
** SAREPTA THERAPEUTICS INC, $21.78, +3.22 pct
Investors continue showering attention on drug developers working on a potential treatment for the Ebola virus, even if some of the drugs are a long way from production.
Global health agencies are only starting to consider whether to make experimental drugs, most of which have only been tested on monkeys, available to patients in West Africa.
** DORAL FINANCIAL CORP, $6.899, +24.53 pct
The Puerto Rican bank said it entered into court-supervised negotiations with the country’s treasury department to settle all claims by the company related to lawsuit
Doral sued the government in May for voiding an agreement that required the Treasury Department to pay the company about $230 million in tax refund
** GOGO INC, $14.554, -8.87 pct
The in-flight wireless service provider said it expects full-year EBITDA to come in at low end of its forecast and that it expects to spend more on satellite transponder connectivity products to expand its business. Up to Friday’s close, the stock had fallen about 36 percent this year.
** ACHILLION PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $7.6878, +4.45 pct
At least two brokerages raise ratings on the drugmaker’s stock, saying the company’s hepatitis C drug shows promise and has good safety profile to date.
“Given the relative near-term data releases for Achillion, we believe that a potential suitor could step up to the plate this fall,” said Piper Jaffray, upgrading the stock to “overweight” from “neutral” and doubling its price target to $10.
Wells Fargo raised its rating to “outperform” from “market perform”.
** TESLA MOTORS, $262.54, +5.81 pct
Deutsche Bank raised its rating on the electric car maker’s stock to “buy”, according to Streetinsider.com. Up to Friday’s close, the stock had gained 65 percent this year.
** 2U Inc, $16.38, -4.10 pct
Goldman Sachs cut its rating on the stock of the provider of web-based education software to “neutral” from “buy” and removed the company from its Americas buy list.
** BIODEL INC, $2.088, +9.32 pct
The company said its experimental insulin formulation was found more effective than current therapies in controlling glucose after two meals, in a mid-stage trial.
** MERRIMACK PHARMACEUTICALS INC, $6.97, +6.74 pct
The drug developer posted a smaller-than-expected Q2 loss, helped by accelerated milestone payment from Sanofi SA . (Compiled by Sneha Banerjee in Bangalore; Editing by Savio D’Souza)